It has been two years since we started the HMMR Podcast and for our 100th episode we decided to switch things up a little. Rather than discuss training, we’ve invited on previous guests Dan Pfaff, Gary Winckler, Derek Evely, and Glenn McAtee to discuss some of the passions that drive outside of coaching as well as how that might connect to coaching. Read more
Typically distance runners have trained via two methods: either putting in the miles or running fast intervals. But, back in the 1930s, Swedish coach Gösta Holmér developed a new method called fartlek training that combined the two. The fartlek – Swedish for speed play – simply combined periods of fast running mixed with periods of slower running. It proved to be a quick success. Read more
In an era when coaches are searching out more and more objective data to evaluate training, master coach Dan Pfaff has been using more and more subjective data to assist him. Subjectivity has been given a bad reputation lately, but it offers many advantages to coaches: it is cheap, it is easy to implement, it saves time, and can often times be more accurate. On this episode of the podcast Pfaff joins us to discuss the role subjective feedback plays in his training. Plus, for track fans, we discuss some of the failure of the Diamond League’s new rules for field event athletes. Read more
On Tuesday we published the first part of our training talk with the extraordinary coach Dan Pfaff. Dan has been enjoying a successful summer as head coach at Altis. To start out our interview we discussed in-season training methods and his 3-day rollover plan. In this final part of the interview we take a step back to discuss his training philosophy and how he takes that to create a plan. Read more
Dan Pfaff’s name is hardly foreign for readers of this blog. As the head coach at Altis, the new name for the ever-growing World Athletics Center, he currently coaches dozens of athletes and helps run a successful coaching education program. With success producing champions in nearly every track and field event, he is without a doubt one of the top coaches in our sport. This year is no exception as Pfaff was Mr. Long Jump at the world championships taking in two medals and three top-four performances. He guided Fabrice Lapierre to silver and Greg Rutherford to gold. Pfaff helped Rutherford capture Olympic Gold in 2012 while working in the UK and starting working with him again recently. In the women’s long jump Christabel Nettey broke the Canadian record on several occasions this year and placed fourth at the World Championships, just two inches from the podium.
In addition to being a top coach and having a wicked mustache, Dan is also a top educator and a person I am always looking to learn more from. When Dan told me he would be in Switzerland for 48 hours for the Lausanne Diamond League meet earlier this summer, I booked time off work and bought my train ticket. I’m not a big fan of the Diamond League for how they treat the throwers, but there some few advantages to having two Diamond League meets in the immediate vicinity.
Two years ago he joined us for a training talk about strategies for coaching technique, training intensity, and defining key performance indicators. When he came to town this time I wanted to both take a look at his training in more detail and take a step back. To start with we talked about his in-season programming and his three-day rollover method, which I have written about a little before. In the second part of the interview, which will be posted later this week, we then took a step back to discuss his training philosophy and how he takes that to create a plan. Read more
There has been a lot of great content online in the past month about periodization and planning. The whole spectrum of the topic has been covered, from articles about the basic science of training to posts about the art of individualization. Below are excerpts and links to six articles that are must reads for any coach. Read more
Perhaps it is the Swiss in me, but I love order. I look at training and I see how I can put nearly every aspect of it in its own little box. You can classify exercises, types of strength, bodily systems used, recovery methods, etc. But the point of classifying it is to see how you can put it all back together. What good is it to classify foods, after all, if you never make a meal?
Editor’s Note: Zac Brouillette is HMMR Media’s newest writer. He recently joined the Innovative Athletic Performance Institute in Florida as the Director of Speed, Strength, and Conditioning. Prior to that he worked as the Director of Sports Performance at Ohio University. But, most importantly, he was a hammer thrower in college. Now he is taking that background and applying it to athletes in a multitude of sports.
To start out with, we thought it would be helpful to have Zac answer a few questions to learn about his background, his viewpoint, and his experiences. Check it out below. Zac also has been blogging for a little while on his own blog, and we’ve copied his archive over to HMMR Media. Read it here, or go to directly to some of the more popular posts about his brick method, healthy eating, or lessons learned from Dan Pfaff. Read more
As I’ve talked about before, continuous learning is something I picked up from my two biggest mentors, Harold Connolly and Anatoliy Bondarchuk. I am reading and talking about training with others daily. And I keep a daily journal with notes on what I learned, what I’ve observed in my own training and coaching, and other commentary on life in general. Just a portion of what I note makes it online or inspires me to write a post.
As the internet track and field community has grown over the past few years, so has the amount of great training content available online. I tend to post links to the best articles I find on Twitter when I run across them, but I thought it would be good to regularly share some of the nuggets of wisdom here too. Below are some highlights from my June journal that I’ve grouped into some loose categories.